California’s workplace regulators are set to again reconsider controversial masking rules designed to protect employees against the coronavirus — requirements that business organizations say will make it harder for them to operate when the state fully reopens its economy next week.
A “special meeting” of the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board was hastily scheduled for Wednesday after State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón sent a letter to the panel reiterating the state’s plans to follow federal guidance starting next Tuesday.
Aragón said the state will do away with virtually all social distancing requirements and drop the mask requirement for people who are vaccinated while “requiring face coverings for all unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses.”
That policy conflicts with the board’s vote last week to allow workers to go maskless only if every employee in a room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The board will consider Aragón’s letter “and take action if appropriate,” board spokeswoman Erika Monterroza said.
The Cal/OSHA Board’s regulations apply in almost every workplace in the state, including workers in offices, factories and retail.